Mike Thalassitis Suicide Again Raises The Need For Treatment Over Men’s Mental Health

Mike Thalassitis Suicide Again Raises The Need For Treatment Over Men’s Mental Health

Mike Thalassitis, the Love Island star, died aged 26, on March 16th. He was found hanged in a North London Park, according to Met Police. The case is not treated as a suspicious death, as evidence shows clear signs of suicide. Categorized by his friends as a proper gentleman, the star was recently struggling with anxiety and depression, stemming from the difficulties of coming out of the spotlight so suddenly. 



The journey from being a regular individual and them becoming a showman also seemed to put a lot of pressure on Mike Thalassitis.

The celebrity opened up about his mental struggles in the past. In 2013, the celebrity said he unsuccessfully tried to commit suicide by overdosing. Although, at the time, he claimed that seeking professional help helps enormously, “it’s not something that goes away.”

The reality show world, especially the Love Island world, seems to put a lot of pressure on contestants. The reality show organizers seem to overlook the contestants’ well-being and neglect their mental health. Another Love Islander, Sophie Gradon, was also found dead in her home in June 2018. Although the Love Island broadcaster claimed that the contestants’ mental health is being taken very seriously and the team is making everything possible for them to access proper psychological support, the cast seems to be under severe psychological pressure.

According to behavioural psychologists that collaborated with reality shows, more than this has to be done in the reality show world to help contestants overcome stress, anxiety and depression. The show is not finished when broadcasters stop filming it. For contestants, it leads to long and crippling anxiety, and ultimately, to suicide, just like it did in Mike’s and Sophie’s case.

Men’s Mental Health is Usually Overlooked

Mike Thalassitis’ suicide brings once again men’s mental health under the spotlight.

Traditionally, men are seen as immune to mental struggles. They have more internalizing disorders, but externalising symptoms. While women seem to speak up about their mental struggles, men enclose those feelings and only act in certain ways. They become violent, abuse substances or show self-destructive behaviours.

The patterns showed above come from traditional gender roles and differences. Men respond to stress, anxiety and other negative events in their lives in a way in which society expects them to. In studies and research papers, practitioners also have a tendency to overlook male distress. This leads to underestimations of mental health disorders in men and creates a severe gender-gap when assessing and treating those.

Numerous research papers identified a silent crisis in men’s mental health. Evidence has found that men are less likely to use mental health services to treat their mental disorders. Male suicides account for 75% of total suicides in the US. And in other areas of the world, the proportions are preserved. Geographically, males living in rural areas and small towns have higher suicide rates, worldwide. Unemployment is one of the main reasons why males commit suicide. The traditional breadwinner role that has been attributed to men puts increasing pressure on them. When they are unable to meet this particular role, men lose the sense of purpose and meaning in life, but their pride also has to suffer.

Their masculinity is attributed to resilience and men are taught even at an early age not to cry, show emotions and so on. The cultural background also seems to play a role. Latino, Asian and Black men are less likely to admit themselves in mental health institutions, unfortunately.

Mental Issues Usually Result in Addiction, in Men

Males seem to be more likely to pick up destructive behaviours. The rate at which substance abuse occurs in males compared to females is 3 to 1. Experts see this as a slow-motion suicide. Males usually engage in such behaviours as a response to stressful life situations, to overcome anxiety or numb depressive thoughts. Men have negative experiences in court during divorce and are rarely granted custody of their children. For many, the separation anxiety is making them search for different coping methods, but those are rarely healthy and professional ones.

Therapy and Counselling for Mental Struggles and Addiction

The link between mental struggles and addiction in males is obvious for specialists. In males, anxiety and depression usually result in substance abuse.

People struggling with mental issues seem to follow an addiction pattern or cycle. To relief emotional pain, men start craving relaxation, a way to escape the feeling. They start using prescription medication, alcohol or hard drugs, some might even start to engage in self-harm. For a short interval, relief appears, but the user also starts to realise the negative effects of their behaviour. This usually results in low self-esteem, guilt and depression. And the cycle starts over with them trying to escape the new negative emotions. Addiction adds more layers to one’s anxiety. The pattern can be overcome, but unfortunately, recovery chances without professional help are relatively low.

Rehabilitation clinics have developed over time more effective, personalised therapies and counselling sessions for each patient. Approaching the roots of addiction before trying to tackle addiction itself offers specialists a holistic and more effective approach on both mental disorders and addiction.

Modern treatment centres offer structured rehabilitation and withdrawal management programs for mental health sufferers that show addictive behaviours. These programs are tailored depending on each patient’s needs and particularity to ensure ongoing effectiveness. Paired with residential rehab and counselling or therapy sessions, these methods seem to lower relapse chances significantly. To identify the underlying causes of addiction, specialised centres rely on the following.

Men are encouraged to seek professional help as soon as they notice that their mental health starts to decline. Feeling angry and acting violently without an apparent reason, feeling sad and worthless after unfortunate events, like a breakup, feeling less of a male because of a job loss, these are not normal feelings. And while sadness is a normal human emotion, men should seek help before their coping mechanisms become destructive.

If you or a loved one is suffering from mental health issues or an addiction and need impartial advice please call Help4Addiction on 0203 955 7700.

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    Detoxification (detox) is the medical intervention required for someone who is physically dependent to drugs or alcohol. If required, medical detoxification would be the first step taken in residential rehab. Detox is used to prevent uncomfortable and dangerous (even fatal) withdrawals symptoms resulting in suddenly becoming abstinent from alcohol/certain drugs.

    The goal of a medical detox is to aid in the physical healing required following long term addiction and rid the body of all together of substance whilst providing a cushion for unpleasant symptoms of withdrawals. Detox is not considered the whole treatment for drug/alcohol addiction and it is always recommended that a comprehensive rehabilitation program is used along side to help maintain long term abstinence.

    Medication is often required for alcohol detox. If you are dependent on alcohol and experiencing withdrawal symptoms it is vitally important to seek medical advice prior to stopping. There is a long list of medications used when treating alcohol addiction and the exact medication given to an individual will depend on their needs/medical history. Some of these include;

    • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
    • Lorazepam (Ativan)
    • Diazapam (vailium)

    Librium and Valium are the most commonly used detox medication in the UK. All medication used to help with alcohol detox have been proven to help reduce the effects of withdrawal symptoms.

    There are also a number of drugs recombined by the NHS to help treat alcohol misuse. Some of these include:

    • Naltrexone
    • Disulfiram (Antabuse)
    • Nalmefene
    • Acamprosate (campral)

    Medication is always required for heroin detox. For someone suffering from heroin addiction, the thought of detoxification (detox) can be exceptionally daunting. Withdrawal symptoms from opiates, such as heroin, can be severe and include pain, vomiting, nausea and shaking.

    There are different ways that heroin detox can be carried out, most usually either ‘maintenance therapy’ or ‘full medical detox’.

    Attempting to switch from heroin to a heroin substitute, usually on a controlled prescription, is known as Maintenance therapy. Subsites used are most often methadone or buprenorphine.

    A full medical detox from heroin will always be carried out in a residential rehab setting and will allow the individual to switch form heroin to a substitute and slowly withdraw completing treatment free of all substances. Someone using a heroin substitute can choose to have a full medical detox at any time, however detoxing substances such a methadone can often add to the length of detox required. Drugs most commonly used to fully detox from heroin are, Subutex, Suboxone and Methadone. Much like alcohol, the exact drugs used will be dependent on the individuals needs/medical history.

    Once detoxed from heroin the risk of overdose is much higher following relapse due to tolerance following withdrawal.

    The length of treatment in a residential rehab depends on a number of elements. Some substances require longer periods of detox than others.

    Private paying patients will also often choose a length of stay that suites their therapeutic and financial needs. As a rule, a full treatment program in a rehab is considered to be 28 days (often referred to as a month), however, treatment is offered in several different ways and lengths starting at 7 days.

    Treating alcohol addiction will always require a minimum of 7-10 days, this would be considered the detoxification (detox) faze. The length required for treating drug addiction can vary drastically depending on the substance being used. Detox for Heroin addiction is generally around 14 days minimum, with more time required if substances such a methadone are being used. Treating prescription drug addiction can often take the longest. The time required for treating gambling addiction, eating disorders and sex addiction will be based on the individuals needs.

    Rehab programs can be as long as an individual requires but primary treatment is normally caped at 12 weeks, with the offering for further secondary and tertiary treatment thereafter.

    *based on average rehab stays, everyone will vary dependant on needs and medical requirement/history.

    There is no need for your employer to know that you are seeking help for trauma and addiction unless you choose to involve them with the process. All employers should have a policy that explains what you do if you cannot come to work due to illness – illness to include treating alcohol addiction/treating drug addiction.

    If your work absence extends over 7 days your employer is likely to require an official statement of fitness to work which would be obtained from your GP. This would need to supply evidence of your illness as well as any adjustments required for returning to work, fazed return or reduced hours, but does not need to specify in detail the reason why you have been absent.

    If you are absent from work for 7 days of less, for example entering rehab for a detoxification (detox) on a Saturday for 7-10 days taking a full week away from work, you can self-certify your illness by letting your employer work you will not be attending work for that period of time. Exactly how an individual would do this would be dependent on a specific companies’ policies on taking sick leave.

    Any time longer than 7 days it is likely an employer will require a note from the individuals GP certifying their sickness and a fit note on return. Most companies have a clearly outlined policy on sickness and receiving sick pay so the exact requirement can vary. A rehab will always be willing to advise on time off work.

    How much does rehab cost is a very frequently asked question. The cost of treatment can range from £1,000 per week upwards depending on the place, with luxury rehab being the most expensive.

    There are free options available on the NHS but the waitlist of those looking for free treatment is longer than that for privately paying patients. Some private health insurance policies will cover treatment in some rehabs around the country.

    Choosing the right rehab centre will often be based on priced but it is important to follow guidance on the most suitable treatment centre for an individual’s needs which our expert team of advisers are on hand to offer.

    There are certainly pro’s for both treatment near by and traveling for treatment with one of the most asked question being should I get rehab near me? There are rehabs all over the UK and around the world that all offer expert programs, let’s look at how to choose a rehab.

    Local treatment

    Being close to home gives certainly has benefits. Visitors are normally permitted in rehab following the first 7 days stay, therefore if an individual is in treatment for a length of time longer than that being local will make it easier for loved ones to visit.

    Most rehab centres will also provide a full aftercare plan for someone following treatment, this will include ongoing aftercare in the specific treatment centre. Living close by can make it easy to take full advantage of ongoing aftercare. There can also often be the option for ongoing care with an individual therapist, again being close by will allow that treatment to be carried out face to face.

    Some individuals wish to be local but are willing to look broader, for instance the greater city of residence (London, Manchester, Liverpool, etc)

    Treatment Away

    Getting treatment away from home can be very appealing to some. Being out of the local area makes it a lot harder to just walk out of treatment as resources locally are unknown. Some also take comfort in knowing that they are not near home and focus more on treatment.

    As the price for treatment can vary so much from one residential treatment centre to another, private paying patients often would rather travel to keep the cost down. Those using private health insurance may also have to travel to find a treatment centre covered in their policy.

    When opting for treatment away from home this can be anywhere in the UK and also abroad. Aftercare can still be carried out and very successful using tools such as The Online Rehab.

    There is no right or wrong when choosing where to go to residential rehab, but our expert advisors are always on hand to help provide information on all possible options.

    Whilst millions of people in the UK have taken recreational drugs (amphetamine, cannabis, cocaine, crack, crystal meth, GHB, heron, ketamine, methadone, and prescription drugs) and drank alcohol not all become ‘addicted’. Most recent reports show that 279,793 individuals were in contact with drug and alcohol misuse services in the last year with over half of that being from opiate addiction and a quarter for alcohol.

    There are several risk factors invoiced in addiction and those using drugs and alcohol socially, simply take the risk. These risks are as follows;

    Tolerance – basically, if a substance is used repeatedly an individual’s tolerance to it will build. This will result in more of the same substance being required to get the same effect. In the long run this can easily lead to addiction and physical dependencies.

    Environmental risks – these can include influences such a peer pressure and stress as well as physical or mental abuse of an individual (particularly as a child). Overall, those who live with frequent pressures and stress are more likely to reach for a substance to cope and are therefore at higher risk of becoming addicted.

    Drug type – it is very well known that certain drugs are simply more addictive than others. Using substances such as heroin increases the risk of becoming addicted for need to ‘chase’ a high as well as physical dependency.

    Drug administration – how a drug is administered can affect its addictive qualities. A drug injected rather than smoked or snorted will release a quicker and more intense high thus making it psychologically (and in many cases physically) more addictive.

    Biological factors – it is now widely reported that being an addict is not only psychological but also biological. This includes your genetic makeup, mental health, sex and age. It is also reported to be 8 times more likely for the child of an addict to become an addict themselves.

    Its believed that addiction is approximately half genetics and therefore some are 50% more likely to become addicted than others.

    How do you help a loved one trapped in addiction?

    The first step is to help and encourage the individual to become willing to accept help. They do not need to be shouting this off the rooftops, but they do need to be willing to go into treatment. There are ways to help someone become willing to get treatment for alcohol or treatment for drugs.

    Set boundaries – set boundaries and stick to them. Once you have laid them out follow through with whatever consequences you have set however hard it is.

    Stop finances – if you are financially supporting someone stopping these finances can be the quickest way for the addict needing to ask for help. With no money to acquire a substance an addict’s options become very limited.

    Intervention – getting together with other family members/friends/colleagues and staging an intervention is often very successful in the fist stage of acceptance and gaining an admission to residential rehab.

    You can’t make them quit, this can lead to dangerous withdrawal. Boundaries are very important in helping someone become willing to get help. Unfortunately you cannot do someone’s recovery for them and without self-motivation it is very hard to make it work.

    The next step is to call our highly trained advisers 0203 955 7700.

    There is a huge range of rehab options available and where to start can be completely over whelming so let us help.